Atari announced the availability of the Atari VCS console-PC hybrid system capable of running retro games and PC applications.
The machine comes three years after its announcement and comes in two retro-style designs inspired by the 1977 Atari 2600: Onyx or Black Walnut. The latter design is $ 100 more expensive and comes with a joystick and gamepad. The console also comes with a library of 100 free retro games.
The computing capabilities of the Atari VCS are extended to the Windows, Linux and ChromeOS operating systems as well as the Google Chrome browser. Although there is no mention of a built-in music system, Atari’s marketing suggests that it will come with some features for music creation and production. At the very least, you should be able to use browser-based DAWs in Google Chrome.
Atari VCS comes with an Atari Custom Linux OS, 32 GB eMMC fixed internal storage, an internal M.2 SSD slot and 8 GB RAM. There are also four USB 3.1 ports for connecting peripheral devices and external hard drives. Given the small amount of internal storage, you’ll almost certainly want to plug in an external hard drive to get more storage space.
In 1985, producers used the Atari ST computer to sequence music using external MIDI-based instruments, thanks to multiple MIDI jacks on the computer. The Pro 24 software was their Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), although it was far more limited than the DAWs we use today. However, Pro 24 eventually became Cubase.
Unfortunately, the Atari VCS doesn’t include MIDI ports, but its USB 3.1 ports can come in handy, and the potential limitations it has will only encourage gamers and music enthusiasts to get creative.
The Atari VCS starts at $ 300. Learn more at atarivcs.com.